I love reading everything from fantasy to historical romances. On a constant quest for more books to read.
This is the first book by Elizabeth Chater I have read and if this is the standard of her work I dont believe I want to try another one.
Alison and Edmond Conninge are twins but there their similarities ends,where Edmond is selfish and vain Alison is goodhearted and courageous.
Her brother is addicted to gaming just like their father was and their combined efforts have made the family more or less destitute. So Edmond was sent to London to find a heiress to marry,and he has his sights set on the beautiful Lady Isolda the sister of the rich and autocratic Earl of Havard
One night Edmond and the Earl are playing faro and Edmond loses significiant amount to the Earl and is then stay away from his sister or else..
Believing as long as he can convince Isolda to marry him her brother is powerless he goes to a ball and guides her outside and starts kissing her.She doesnt dislike it but suddenly the Earl her brother catches him and she starts accusing Edmond of attacking her.
Hoping to scare away him the Earl challenges him to a duel.It has the intended effect and he rushes straight home to pack his belongings and escape to Bath.Alison tries to convince him not to go because by avoiding the duel he will lose his honor and be labeled a coward and his prospects of marrying will be completely destroyed.
She decides to pretend to be her brother and go to the duel and simply make her excuses.
But Earl of Horrible wont accept this and soon enough its revealed that she is acting as a substitute for her brother for the honor of her family hoping he will act the gentleman.
But he simply tells her he don’t believe her lies.
In fact he believes she is "Edmond",that she is a woman impersonating a man and as punishment for being a fortune hunting crossdressing lesbian she will become his page or in effect his slave.His horrible sister also cheerfully wonders if she can be allowed to abuse him.
The "hero" is unlikeable to the extreme. I mean usually they have some excuse for acting in a horrible way.Mean parents,some woman betraying him etc
But the book never gives and the only reason I could deduce was that he was too arrogant and possibly a sociopath.
Its all miserableness and at one point the heroine even tries to commit suicide. Later in the book for no good reason she is kicked In the head by a horse while saving a child. This is while she is hiding from the hero no less so you assume that when he finds her she will be ill from this and he will be so filled with remorse.
But no shes fine and no mention is ever made of her saving a child.
They do still end up together. He never apologizes for anything. The end.
This book deserves zero stars